Servicemen and women from the Somali National army graduated from a training scheme developed by the UK in Baidoa.
A UK training programme was set up in Baidoa in Somalia to improve security in the region. The Somali National Army saw 98 soldiers graduate from the training in the state capital.
The training involved a 16-week course teaching first aid, safe weapons handling, vehicle checkpoints, covered defence positions, theory and practical lessons, dealing with improvised explosives, and leadership. The training grounds include a firing range and were opened by the State President Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed Laftagareen, with 450 further barracks due to be built on the same site.
Colonel JL Baynham, Commander of British Forces in Somalia, said: “The training is being delivered by highly experienced specialists. It’s focused on building really strong infantry skills, which are what the Somali army most needs to defeat Al Shabaab. The Somali soldiers are very able and keen to learn. We are already seeing the benefits, for the individuals, their units and the security of the area.”
Graduates will receive medical, planning, and command training following the completion of the programme. Since 2017, the British army has delivered training to around 900 members of the Somali National Army, including in medical skills, equipment care, intelligence, logistics, leadership development, and the rule of law.
The course is part of a programme of support to the army’s 60 Division. The Somali armed forces have already put their skills to use, with defensive positions being built around the city and training having been used in recent attacks.
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